UK-based Vortex IOT is set to launch its advanced Rail Optical Detection of Intrusions and Obstructions (RODIO) solution in collaboration with Network Rail and Tata Steel.

The new solution, which is financed by Innovate UK, is designed to detect and classify hindrances in the track automatically and remotely.

It is capable of detecting obstructions such as fallen trees, landslides, trespassers, vehicles and maintenance workers.

From the concept stage to completion, the technology took 18 months to develop. It underwent extensive scrutiny at the Network Rail RIDC (Rail Innovation & Development Centre) facility in Tuxford, Nottinghamshire

Vortex IOT will launch RODIO on 9 and 10 September in the presence of around 50 rail industry experts.

Vortex IOT managing director Adrian Sutton said: “The ground-breaking, cost-effective RODIO device will allow the industry to detect any obstacles that may interfere with train journeys in real-time and therefore deal with them in a timely manner and reduce the overall delay.

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“The system also includes an early alert system for theft, trespass and intrusions and guarantees high precision even in low-visibility and dark conditions.

“We have worked closely with Network Rail and Tata Steel for more than a year to bring this product to fruition and look forward to launching it in September.”

In addition to RODIO, the company has developed other IoT-based platforms, including a secure, self-healing mesh network, an air quality measurement (AQM) platform and integrated smart parking optimisation.

Network Rail Design and Technology project manager Gregan Quick said: “Network Rail welcomes technological advances in safety, and putting passengers and freights users first. RIDC Tuxford is facilitating the trial of this IOT based solution.”

Tata Steel MIET, software development manager for process control and automation Gareth Osmond said: “The opportunity to get involved as a partner in the RODIO project was a simple choice for Tata Steel and the work done by Vortex IoT has been exemplary.”